Difficulty in coming about - SailNet Community

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Old 09-07-2008
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Difficulty in coming about

I sail on the Columbia River about 35 miles north of Portland, OR. It's fairly narrow there so there's lots of coming about. I recently bought a Lancer 25 and haven't sailed for about 4 years on boats that were larger and smaller but never had a real problem before. I understand that because of the 3/4 lenght shoal draft keel that it doesn't point as well but maybe I'm doing something wrong when it coems to coming about.

I point as high as I can and get as much speed as I can, hard over on the tiller and don't pull the jib over until it backwinds. The problem is, it's a bear to get it to backwind. most of the time I go into irons and have to wear ship (go all the way around) in order to bring the sails to the other side.

Any info or help in what I'm doing wrong would be greatly appreciated.

Harris
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Old 09-07-2008
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Harris,

Most likely, your problem is boat speed....i.e., lack of sufficient boat speed.

Instead of "pointing as high as you can", the preferred way for many boats is to fall off a bit to ensure that your sails are full and gain maximum boat speed. In very light airs, you may have to fall off quite a bit to do this.

Bill
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Old 09-07-2008
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I second that advice.
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Old 09-07-2008
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Harris, what kind of boatspeed and wind speed are you talking about?

I don't know the Lancer but rig tuning (proper mast rake and spreader length) can also make a big difference in pointing ability on any boat. As will sail trim & condition, of course.
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Old 09-07-2008
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I'm sure that river currents are a factor also. They are on the Delaware.
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Old 09-07-2008
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Hey Harris, You may just need some more bonding with the new boat....BTW, congrats on the boat.

First, it sounds like you may be sailing a little close to the wind just before a tack. Just before you tack, fall off the wind just a tad to build more speed. Your tiller movement should be smooth but not too quickly as to stall the rudder thus slowing the boat. You might also try easing or loosing the leeward jib/genoa sheet as the sail starts to luff during the tack and when it reaches the center line of the boat, go ahead and help it cross by sheeting in the new leeward sheet. Might help to pull the bow through the tack sooner by getting it to draw a little quicker.

Another consideration is the sails themselves. Sails that have too deep of a pocket(blown out), are not going to be very efficient upwind thus giving up the power and speed needed to get you through the tack.

My appologies if I've over simplified...and enjoy the new boat.

Bob
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Old 09-07-2008
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I learned to sail on the Columbia at Portland in a Newport 28. Typically coming about was no problem (it was a fin keel). On my Gulf 40, with a cutaway full keel, when I was hard on the wind I would loosen the reigns a bit and crack off a little just to pick up more speed - then tack.
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Old 09-07-2008
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Cool Ahoy Moonfish

You mentioned you were throwing the rudder hard over. Don't do that either. When the rudder is all the way over it acts like a brake. Sure the boat will turn, but slow down fast.
Try to go easy with the tiller and everything else the crew told ya.,

Fair Winds
Cap'n Dave
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Old 09-07-2008
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I'd second getting the boat speed up by falling off a bit, since you need the momentum to carry you through the eye of the wind. I'd also second the idea that you need to turn more smoothly, since you don't want the rudder killing what momentum you've gotten built up.
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Old 09-09-2008
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I agree with bratfors.
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